China’s FDI up 8% in 2022, continuing upward trend for three consecutive years
Market size, improving business climate attract global funds: experts
Published: Jan 18, 2023 01:05 PM
A view of Shanghai, China's major financial hub and destination for foreign investment Photo:VCG

A view of Shanghai, China's major financial hub and destination for foreign investment Photo:VCG

China's inbound foreign direct investment (FDI) grew for a third consecutive year in 2022, official data showed on Wednesday, indicating the country remains a magnet for foreign investment despite the pandemic.

The attraction of China, backed up with a mass consumption market, a strong manufacturing base and an improving business environment, was not dampened by COVID, Chinese observers said, and many foreign-funded firms will remain in the market for the long run. 

FDI in 2022 hit $189.13 billion, rising 8 percent in US dollar terms and maintaining stable growth, data from the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) showed on Wednesday. FDI totaled $173.48 billion in 2021 and $144.37 billion in 2020.

FDI in the manufacturing sector was 323.7 billion yuan, up 46.1 percent year-on-year. This segment accounted for 26.3 percent of the total FDI, an increase of 7.8 percentage points from 2021. 

FDI in the high-tech sector was up 28.3 percent, accounting for 36.1 percent of the total -- an increase of 7.1 percentage points from 2021, the data showed.

Large projects each with contracted FDI of more than $100 million received 653.47 billion yuan, up 15.3 percent. Those projects accounted for 53 percent of China's actual use of foreign capital, providing important support for stabilizing foreign investment, the MOFCOM said.

The growth of FDI shows that foreign investors have always had confidence in the growth and stability of the Chinese market, experts said.

"The attraction of China's long-term advantages, including an improving business environment and market conditions, played an important role," Li Yong, deputy chairman of the Expert Committee of the China Association of International Trade, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

China has promoted high-standard opening-up. For example, the authorities canceled registration requirements for businesses engaged in foreign trade on December 30, 2022, following a revision of the Foreign Trade Law, the MOFCOM said on January 3.

The MOFCOM and the Ministry of Science and Technology on Wednesday pledged to encourage foreign investors to set up research and development (R&D) centers and continue to support cross-border flows of R&D data in accordance with the law.

It will be impossible for multinational companies to give up the Chinese market due to its vast potential, which could be the largest in the world, Cong Yi, a professor at the Tianjin University of Finance and Economics, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

The France-based airplane manufacturer Airbus said in its earnings report on January 11 that in 2022, Airbus delivered a total of 112 aircraft to the Chinese market, including 96 single-aisle A320 series aircraft and 16 A350 aircraft, accounting for about 17 percent of Airbus' total deliveries. 

The company said that it works with domestic partners, expanding the scope of cooperation to the entire industry chain covering procurement, component production and installation, aircraft final assembly, delivery, aircraft operation support, and aviation services cooperation.
MOFCOM data showed that South Korea, Germany and the UK are the top three investors, of which the FDI increased by 64.2 percent for South Korea, 52.9 percent for Germany and 40.7 percent for UK.

Bosch, the German engineering giant, said on January 12 that it plans to build a facility in Suzhou, East China's Jiangsu province to develop, test and manufacture new-energy vehicle parts and autonomous driving technology, mainly for local automakers.

It plans to invest up to $1 billion over the coming years to propel development and production of components for electro-mobility and autonomous driving in China. 

Schneider Electric is unswervingly confident in the Chinese market. Operating in China for 36 years, China has become its second-largest market, and one of its four largest R&D bases in the world, the company told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

China's business climate during the fourth quarter of 2022 won high praise from most foreign enterprises, said the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade on Tuesday, as it vowed to initiate promotions for foreign enterprises in China to enhance global competitiveness.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on Tuesday reiterated at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting at the Davos World Economic Forum that China is determined to promote all-round opening-up and multilateral cooperation.

"Foreign investments are welcome in China, and the door to China will only open up wider," he said.